Swim Lesson FAQs

What level should my child be in?
The beginner level is for swimmers who are not yet comfortable putting their faces in the water. This is a very common hurdle for children to overcome, and stroke work cannot really happen until the child is willing to immerse his or her head. While seemingly a simple activity unrelated to actual swimming, bobbing is meant to get a child used to putting his or her head underwater. The beginner level also includes teaching a child to float – both on front and back – and kick.

Intermediate level is for swimmers who are ready to learn the basic strokes of swimming: freestyle (crawl), backstroke, and beginning breaststroke.

Advanced is for breaststroke, butterfly and overall stroke refinement. Advanced is a great place for swim team members to work on racing form.

Is beginning/intermediate level for those swimmers who are in-between?
No. Most swimmers need the intermediate or the beginning level. Instructors will place swimmers in groups best suited to their abilities. As instructors become more familiar with the swimmers and the swimmers progress, instructors may recommend moving to another group.

What kind of training do the Madrona swim instructors have?
They are all certified lifeguards with training in CPR/AED. Some also have water safety instructor certification.

How many can be in a class, i.e., what is the swimmer/instructor ratio?
We try to have no more than four swimmers per instructor. If we get more than four, we will try to add an instructor. However, we do not have unlimited pool space or instructors, so classes will be capped at some point.

Do I need to be in the pool with my child?
No. We do not offer parent/tot lessons. If your child is not independent enough to be able to hold on to the side of the pool by him or herself, or will cry if separated from you, he or she may not be ready for lessons this year.

How old does my child need to be to start lessons?
It depends on the child. Some children are ready at three and others are not ready at age five. The child must be able to hold onto the side by him or herself and take instruction from an instructor who is not their parent.

If my child can take swim lessons at Madrona, why can’t he or she be on the swim team?
Swim team is governed by league rules forbidding non-members from participating on the team.

Why should I have my child take lessons when then can join swim team, which last longer?
Swim team is a great place for kids to improve stamina, enjoy a team experience and practice strokes, but lessons offer more individualized and focused attention on stroke technique.

How warm is the pool? I’m concerned that my child will be cold during morning lessons?
Oregon mornings are often chilly and the pool is not fully in sun until about noon. However, the pool temperature is set to 86 degrees, which most children find warm enough even on those brisk mornings.